The townsfolk chat idly in the foggy square, mist roiling in waves over the ground. The sun hides behind a thick cloud cover, and the day is dreary, the color drained from the light.
The village is concerned over their missing savior; Peanutbuttershoes has not been sighted in much time, and he normally makes an appearance by now. Many note that he'd obviously been troubled lately; his honor was more of a burden, and his duty was more of a punishment. The weight of his conscience had been pushing down on him... and the people are unsure of just how hard.
Just as some resolute villagers decide to set out on a search party, the mist breaks, and reveals Peanutbuttershoes, wading into the center of the town, his coat thick with dirt and dust, his eyes sunken and tired. He was a haggard man.
"Move," he mumbles, as he pushes through the crowd, before throwing his blade onto the ground, where it slides out of its sheath smoothly. The people stare at it in great awe and fear.
"...I was chosen," the crusader says, shrugging off his hood. His hair is unkempt, much like himself right now. "I was chosen, and my duty was hard." He looks over the people, and then turns to face the statue of the angel.
"I was once a pious man. I believed in the unwavering mercy and compassion of God, and I felt he was always at my side, giving me strength, giving me life..." He looks down, unable to bear the sight of the sculpture any longer. "I was determined to live up to his expectations, to do my God-given duty. I was to be a crusader, a Hand of God."
Peanutbuttershoes whirls to face the gathered people, who shrink back in surprise. He clenches the air, before his arms fall to his sides in despair.
"I was wrong." Tears fall to the dusted ground. "I am not wise, I am not brave, and I am not strong. I am but a man..." He falls to the ground, prostrate to the heavens. "I am but a man, burdened to judge, cursed to kill. This was not an honor."
His fist slams against the ground, in abject rage.
"You hear the name 'The Hand of God', and I know I stand by the side of him, as his trusted evangel."
PBS stands up, staring at the sword on the ground.
"I forsake the role of Hand of God. I forsake my God-given duty. I forsake this damned honor, this cursed blessing... I was never strong enough, never good enough, never holy... I am a man consigned to orders unsaid, to fates unknown..."
"But all I am is a man!
And I refuse to be shackled by the chains of destiny for any longer!" PBS roars to the heavens, and then looks back at his gathered audience. "And now that I have done so, I am no longer the Hand of God
. God shall grant this blade to one pure of heart, innocent and strong... better than I, in every way."
PBS turns to the statue of the angel, his back to the crowd, and throws his hood back on.
The crusader walks away, and the crowd stares at the sword, which has lost its gleaming shine, now dull and blunt on the ground. The villagers look to each other.
"Uhm, now what?" Someone asks. He reaches out to the blade tentatively -- and it shines brilliantly, a roaring light that blinds many in the crowd. The villager shirks back briefly, before a sudden wave of courage pushes him to grasp the blade firmly by the hilt. It burns with the brightness of the sun -- and then dulls, its blade red-hot to the touch of any but its true owner.
"...Well. That's unexpected," Noah says, before sheathing his new blade.
--Peanutbuttershoes is no longer the Hand of God.Noah is the new Hand of God.